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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Christmas of Joy

Lots of people are under tremendous stress this Christmas. They drive hurriedly in heavy traffic to find a parking place at a full mall to go into an overcrowded store to find the last one of what they are looking for to stand in a long line so that they can go home, make their houses look Christmasy and cook too much food for overfed people. They don't know if they can afford what they have paid for a gift that they don't know will be right for someone who may not need what they are giving. Even if the giftee says they like Star Trek- is that the Original Series or the Next Generation or any of the movies of either?

Christmas joy has become the moment that it is all over. It is only then that people can lament over or congratulate themselves for what they have done. There is very little joy in that.

So, what would make it a Christmas of joy? Why did the angels tell the shepherds that it would be great joy of all the people? It wasn't simply that a baby was born, though that is a cause of some joy. It wasn't that there was a great light show being put on by the angels. It was something more.

Christmas must be a time we remember why Jesus came if we are to have Christmas joy. He came to establish a relationship with us that will last for eternity. He came so that we would have hope for live beyond this life. He came so that we would know Him so that we will never be alone when we face the struggles of this life. He came so that we could have someone to depend upon when our needs are lacking. He came to heal, love and, most importantly, forgive.

But my joy would also be extended if I see others come to know Him. I want others to know who Jesus is so that they can have Christmas joy too.

Last night one of my church members came to me and asked if I ever thought of surveying people after a worship service to see if they "got" what the message was about. I told him that I was afraid to do so because I am afraid of what may be interpreted.

He told me that this is what he got out of Sunday's sermon: That Christmas wasn't just about the birth of a baby. That it was about people receiving salvation. That it is a great time for us to tell others about the true meaning of Christmas.

I said to him that he got it. But he got more than sermon. He got the meaning of Christmas and the key to Christmas joy.

Luke 2:10-12 (ESV) 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Haha. I missed this post. Please read the comment I wrote to the post you wrote after this one. It fist here, too. :D